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POLB91H3 (73)
Lecture 11

POLB911 Lecture 11

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Department
Political Science
Course
POLB91H3
Professor
Roberta Rice
Semester
Winter

Description
POLB91  11  -­  Agrarian  Reform  and  the  Politics  of  the  Countryside ● CIDA  folded  into  Department  of  Foreign  Affairs  and  International  Trade ○ New  focus  on  emerging  economies  and  dropping  from  list  of  priorities  (poor countries  that  need  help) ○ Trade  over  aid _____________________________________________________________ Importance  of  Rural  Development 1. The  most  acute  forms  of  poverty,  inequality  and  political  oppression  are  found  in  the countryside ○ E.g.  75%  of  bottom  billion  (poor  left  behind)  are  rural 2. Rural  poverty  and  inequality  feed  political  instability  and  violence ○ Seeing  new  rural  activism  in  GLobal  South  in  era  of  free  market  and  democracy -­-­  very  radicalized ○ Especially  indigenous  movements ○ Revolutionary  forces  come  from  peasantry  -­-­  most  likely  to  join  the  struggle 3. Agriculture  is  a  sector  in  which  employment  opportunities  and  productivity  gains  could be  generated  at  low  cost. ○ Investing  in  labour  intensive  development ○ Would  stem  the  tie  of  urban  migration ○ Handelman  points  out  that  small  holder  agriculture  are  actually  more  productive than  large  estate  commercial  farms ■ More  for  employment,  more  basic  staple  goods  and  could  increase  food security I.  Landlords  and  Peasants ● Domestic  power  structures  -­-­  inequitable  rural  conditions  that  hold  back  experiences  are in  the  colonial  era ○ America  nadn  Phillipines  known  for  inequitable  distribution  of  land  in  favor  of large  owners  (Spain  and  Portugal,  in  case  of  Brazil) ○ In  Colonial  era,  troops  that  came  over  from  new  world  were  often  2nd  and  3rd world  sons ○ Came  to  new  world  to  live  like  feudal  lord ● This  system  is  attacked  by  haciendas  today:  large  landed  estates  comprising  hundreds if  not  thousands  of  hectares ○ Latifundia  vs.  minifundia ○ Any  didn't  live  on  large  estate  was  left  with  marginal  minifundia ● Tribute/head  tax:  A  system  in  which  indigenous  people  had  to  provide  a  set  amount  of free  labour  to  the  state ○ Or  could  pay  in  money  but  where  to  get  cash  from?  Working  for  subsistence purposes  -­-­  not  paid  by  haciendas,  work  for  access  to  land ○ Improtant  for  national  development  at  that  time ○ Had  to  work  for  land  owners,  work  for  mine  owners,  or  do  some  public infrastructure  work ○ One  year  of  free  service  every  seven  years;;  harsh  penalties ○ Most  people  were  absorbed  into  haciendas ● What  was  it  like? ○ Some  suggest  culture  and  life  was  degraded  and  destroyed ○ But  others  argue  cultural  practices  were  allowed  to  exist  -­-­  harmony  with workforce  and  preserved  them ○ Handelman  says  that  the  extent  of  exploitation  on  the  local  population  by  the landlords  was  limited  by  patron-­client  relationships ■ "I  came  to  get  the  gold,  not  to  till  the  soil  like  a  peasant" ○ Other  time,  would  fund  religious  festivals ○ Would  lend  money  in  case  family  members  got  injured ○ Or  even  serve  as  godparents  for  the  tenant's  children ○ As  long  as  landlords  held  up  bargain,  the  peasants  accepted  traditional  order ○ BUt  because  of  all  these  ties,  they  had  a  measure  of  security;;  clientelism  was stable,  and  this  was  the  status  quo ○ "it  is  when  that  measure  of  protectionism  is  taken  away  from  peasants  is  that they  will  become  very  rebellious  and  fight" II.  Why  Peasants  Rebel ● Tend  to  be  conservative  in  not  trying  new  technology  unless  has  ben  tried  and  tested  -­-­ livelihoods  dependent  on  it ● Tend  to  be  in  conservative  through  supporting  status  quo ● Much  of  20th  century  revolution  was  based  on  peasant  revolution ● When  rural  modernization  threatens  the  peasantry’s  traditional  way  of  life  and  moral economy ○ Transition  from  feudalism  to  capitalism ○ Commercialization  of  agriculture  -­-­  those  who  used  to  grow  their  own  food  to sell  cash  crops  to  sell  in  marketplace ○ Suddenly  livelihood  is  dependent  on  market  prices;;  loses  control ● When  landowners  abandon  traditional  protections  for  the  peasantry  in  favour  of  market competition ● Once  capitalism  enters  picture  and  landowners  mechanize,  can  do  away  with patron  client  relations  and  can  evict  tenant  farmers;;  became  redundant ● Idea  of  throwing  peasant  off  the  land,  violating  patron-­client  contract  is  something that  causes  peasants  to  lose  it ● When  the  peasantry’s  access  to  land  and  livelihood  are  jeopardized ● 1)  Landless  wage  labourers  -­  revolutionary ● 2)  Peasants  with  small  plots  but  insecure  title ○ E.g.  people  come  with  paper  deeds ● 3)  Peasants  with  secure  titles  and  stable  crop  prices  are  the  least  revolutionary III.  Agrarian  Reform  Programs ● Agrarian  reform:  the  expropriation  and  redistribution  of  private  and/or  public  farmland from  large  landowners  to  landless  peasants  or  smallholders ○ Individual  farmers  who  lived  on  haciendas/subsistence  plot  just  gave  them  title ○ Bolivia  seized  haciendas  and  divided  into  small  plots,  giving  each  farmer  titel ○ Other  countries  which  did  not  have  political  will  would  mobilize ○ Other  countries  like  Ecuador  opened  up  new  lands  in  Amazonian  rainforest, "where  nobody  lived"  and  would  just  give  more  plots ○ In  rare  cases  such  as  Cuba,  state  would  actually  appropriate  foreign  held  and domestically  held  land  and  turn  ti  over  to  peasants ● Agrarian  reform  may  or  may  not  include: ○ Monetary  compensation  for  large  landowners  may  or  may  not  include accompanying  agriculture  subsidies,  credits,  technical  assistance,  market access  and  training ■ State  finds  out  which  land  is  eligible,  usually  establish  a  ceiling
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